Motorcycle Dealers Juneau AK

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Mendenhall Honda
(907) 789-1386
8602 Teal St
Juneau, AK
Makes
Honda

Allen Marine
(907) 586-1402
5450 Glacier Highway
Juneau, AK
Makes
Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki

Alaska Motorcycle Adventures
(907) 952-0634
5901 Arctic Blvd Unit J
Anchorage, AK

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Polaris Junction
(907) 895-2030
Mile 272 Richardson Hwy
Delta Junction, AK
Makes
Yamaha

House of Harley-Davidson and Buell
(907) 248-5300
4334 Spenard Road
Anchorage, AK
Makes
Buell, Harley-Davidson

Taku Buell
(907) 586-4100
263 Marine Way
Juneau, AK
Makes
Buell

Taku Harley-Davidson
(907) 586-4100
263 Marine Way
Juneau, AK
 
Nothern Powersports
(907) 452-2762
1980 Van Horn Rd
Fairbanks, AK
Makes
Yamaha, Suzuki

Allen Marine
(907) 586-1402
5450 Glacier Highway
Juneau, AK
Makes
Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki

Kawasaki Sports Center
(907) 561-1165 Phone
400 W Potter Dr
Anchorage, AK
 
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Escape To The Mojave Desert On A Motorcycle

Home » Articles » Motorcycles » Road Trips » Escape To The Mojave Desert On A Motorcycle

Escape To The Mojave Desert On A Motorcycle

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Six campsites and no reservations make camping at Mitchell Caverns a gamble for an overnight stay. You can make reservations for cavern tours, however. An hour-plus tour runs daily from Labor Day through Memorial Day, with extra tours on weekends. In the heat of summer, when the 65-degree interior is enticing but visitation is low, tours are limited to weekends. Call the State Parks regional office at (805) 942-0662 for information on tours and camping.

Even if your schedule doesn't jive with the tour times, a run up to the visitor center at 4300 feet is worthwhile just to read about the desert, see the relics on display, buy a T-shirt, and take in the incredible view. The desert here is alive with barrel cacti, cholla, and other vegetation that make it look lush compared to the barren creosote flats already crossed on the way. It's usually cooler, too.

More flat desert stretches eastward from the caverns, offering minimal pavement for the Buell, so I rode 22 miles west on I-40 to the Kelbaker Road exit. Heading north, the Kelbaker runs through some of the prettiest desert anywhere. The Granite Mountains (one of many such-named ranges in the desert) look like huge granite boulders piled over 6,000 feet high. In reality, they intruded from beneath the surface and are decomposing before our eyes. Formed under greater pressure than they experience today, they are slowly expanding -- literally popping apart (at a geologic pace) as the internal pressure releases. A short hike in the Granites is a great way to stretch cramped up touring legs, and the big boulders have a knobby texture that makes them easy to explore.

At Granite Pass, marked by a cattle guard and microwave installation, the Kelbaker slips between the Providence and Granite Mountains, then slides into a long, low valley. Off to the west, tucked into a bowl that captures both wind and sand, the Kelso dunes are a permanent and prominent feature. Three miles down a marked dirt road (a rough go on a street bike) leads to a parking area for dune adventures. The reward for huffing and puffing to the top of the highest dune is an outstanding view of the sculpted sand and surrounding desert. Watch trains roll through Kelso, glimpse an eagle in flight on the updrafts from the hot desert floor, or watch the sand grains bounce and tumble in the wind. You might even see a stick lizard, the legendary reptiles that use a stick to stay cool while roaming the dunes. When things get too hot, they plant their stick in the sand and climb up to get their bellies off the scorching surface. And we think umbrellas are clever!

Kelso, a steam engine water stop founded in 1906 and the "Kel" in Kelbaker, lies in the bottom of the valley. The stately building next to the tracks is the old Kelso Depot, built in 1924...

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